Comptroller Lander's report says New York City was unprepared for Tropical Storm Ophelia

Lander’s report says that only 2.7% of New Yorkers subscribed to get weather alerts on the Notify NYC system. 

Ashley Mastronardi

Apr 22, 2024, 11:21 PM

Updated 33 days ago

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Last September, Tropical Storm Ophelia drenched New York City - but it wasn’t the first time the region has seen rain like that.
“The city had been hit by Hurricane Ida, adopted this set of plans to be ready for future storms and just two years later, Ophelia revealed gaps in the city’s response,” New York City Comptroller Brad Lander told the crowd at a recent news conference. 
According to a new report by Lander, the city was unprepared for the storm. He says those gaps started with Department of Environmental Protection catch basin trucks. 
“63% of them were out of service, leaving only 19 trucks to clean hundreds of catch basins all throughout the city,” he said. 
“Clear, targeted communications to the public did not come in some cases hours after the storm was already walloping the city and stranding New Yorkers, communications went to parents about schools late,” Lander added. 
Lander’s report also says that only 2.7% of New Yorkers subscribed to get weather alerts on the Notify NYC system.  And that New York City Emergency Management’s new basement notification list includes less than 1% of the estimated number of basement residents in the city. 
A spokesperson for City Hall told News 12 in part in a statement: 
"Our city agencies inspected over 900 catch basins, distributed thousands of flood barriers, rain barrels, and other protective tools, and got the word out to millions of New Yorkers two days ahead of the event." 
Sources close to City Hall tell News 12 they’re investing more than $1 billion in flood prevention infrastructure.


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